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An American Abroad: Why Study Abroad?

For as long as I can remember, I’ve dreamed of visiting the UK.  There was a sort of romance to it all—the royals, the history, the literature—that I’ve always loved. So when the time came to chose a college, a good study abroad program was a major selling point.  

I found exactly what I was looking for in Gettysburg.  The Center for Global Education is great, and the numbers back them up.  While fewer than 10% of US students study abroad nationwide, the Gettysburg College class of 2015 reported 60% of students having studied abroad for a semester or longer.  

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You might be like me, anxious to travel and experience everything you can.  Or, you might not be completely sold on study abroad.  Just in case, here are five reasons that are completely in favour of going for it:  

1. Travel

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I know, it seems basic.  But travel is AMAZING.  Even if you’ve toured Europe sixteen times since high school, travel some more.  Travel to your favourite city.  Travel to a place you never dreamed you would visit.  Just TRAVEL.  Then, once you get there, travel some more.  

 

2.  Educational opportunities  

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Chances are, you can study abroad in a place that is perfect for your major, minor, or informal interest.  For a History/English double major like myself, Bath, UK is perfect. Even if you’re already in the perfect place for your program of study (looking at you, my fellow Civil War Era Studies minors), study abroad is an amazing opportunity.  You’ll find classes that Gettysburg doesn’t necessarily offer and professors (well, here in the UK, tutors) who have a totally different point of view than anything you’re used to. Trust me, you’ll love it.

 

3.  Experiential opportunities

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While this is study abroad, you’ll also learn plenty outside of the classroom.  From interacting with the locals to travelling both literally and figuratively outside of your comfort zone, experiential education is very real.  You’ll immerse yourself in a new culture and have the time of your life doing it.  

 

4.  It looks great on your resume

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Maybe you’ll be up for a job someday and have an identical background as a second candidate…except you studied abroad and she didn’t.  Guess what? You’ll probably have the better shot.  Remember that experiential education we discussed?  Chances are you can formulate that into looking really good for you.  Good job, you!

 

5.  Meeting new people

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A lot of people choose to go abroad in the spring of their junior year, or some time in that vicinity.  By this point, chances are you’ve spent the past three years with the same people, in the same courses, with a lot of the same friends.  This is the perfect opportunity to expand your horizons (cliche, but true) and meet all sorts of new people!

Not only will you meet the others in your program or at your university, but you’ll be exposed to locals.  In either case, you’ll meet people from entirely different backgrounds.  Hearing from someone besides your family or a fellow liberal arts student can be invigorating.  

Of course, there are countless more reasons to study abroad, and even more specific to you individually.  What are you waiting for?  Get to CGE and get planning!  Spring 2018 will be here before we know it!

Juliette Sebock, Founder: Jules founded the Gettysburg College chapter of Her Campus in Fall 2015 and served as Campus Correspondent until graduating in Spring 2018. Juliette graduated from Gettysburg College in 2018 with an English major and History/Civil War Era Studies/Public History triple minors. In addition to HC, she was a member of the Spring 2017 class of Advanced Studies in England and of various organizations including Eta Sigma Phi, Dance Ensemble, and Poetry Circle. She has published a poetry chapbook titled Mistakes Were Made, available on Amazon and Goodreads, and she has poems forthcoming in several literary magazines. She is also the editor-in-chief of Nightingale & Sparrow Magazine and runs the lifestyle blog, For the Sake of Good Taste. For more information, visit https://juliettesebock.com.